Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Acts 1:15-26

Daily Devotional – Tuesday June 19, 2007
Acts 1:15-26
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

May God be with you on this warm summer day that he has given us. We are blessed today with a reading from Acts where Luke writes about events in the very early church between Christ’s resurrection and the beginning of Paul’s ministry. Luke provides a very valuable history of the period and tells of how the Christian Church established itself and grew. He tells of Judas “who was the guide to those who arrested Jesus”.

Luke wanted to illustrate that Christianity was the natural evolution of Judaism. He records how Peter showed how Judas was fulfilling David’s prophecy in the Psalm that one among us would play such role as Judas did in fulfilling his share in the ministry. Luke/Peter does not pass judgment on Judas and suggests that it was all part of God’s plan. He goes on to describe how Judas met his end in a violent way in the field of blood. This was also foretold in the Psalms. These examples of fulfillment and continuance must have contributed greatly to reassuring those confused by what had happened.

Luke then goes on to tell us how the organization of the early church dealt with perpetuating itself. Judas had to be replaced in the family of believers. How did they come to that? Again the answer was found in the Psalm. “His office let another take”. They didn’t make it up. They went to God for instruction in the form of the bible. From 2 candidates from within the faithful who had followed Christ during his ministry, they drew lots and elected one – Matthi’as to take the place of Judas with the other 11 apostles.

I love history and the Acts are some of my favorite parts of the bible. They are written in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand. Can you image how Matthi’as must have felt being chosen to replace Judas. Was he also being chosen for a specific role and a possible bad end? Was he chosen by other men or by God through other men? I can imagine his possible fear but at the same time I can imagine his great pride and joy at being chosen. We all really want to be chosen don’t we? I think that we who love Christ have all been chosen. Thanks be to God!

AMEN

John Dickie, June 19, 2007

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